Welcome to the zodiac adventure wheel! It all starts here at the first house, where we become a “self” as our spirits find home in our bodies.
This is the birthplace of our identities as individuals. Here we begin the voyage of discovery, bravely blazing trails to discover where we belong in the world.
Like Aries, the first zodiac sign, the 1st house shows where we are brave and dazzling, and at times a little entitled. But hey, why not aim for the best? The 1st house is anything but a jaded space. There’s a combative quality to the first house which can be aggressive, demanding and diva-like. But you’re a newbie here and not always aware of when you’re in survival mode and when you’re safe.
There’s a desire to be seen and to grab attention in the 1st house. It’s not narcissistic per se, but more of a confirmation of your existence. Am I really here? Do I exist? Hello, self-aware humans!
The meaning of the 1st house in astrology
The 1st house covers all the firsts: the first impression you make, how you take initiative and start things, and any sort of beginning. As one of the three “fire houses” along with the 5th and the 9th, sparks ignite easily, but they don’t always catch on. Here’s where we start things but don’t always finish them. Attention spans can be short in this novelty-obsessed zone!
The 1st house is numero uno of the four angular houses, along with the 4th, 7th and 10th houses. Like the NSEW points on a compass, these houses start each of the four quadrants of the zodiac wheel, setting us off in clear, new directions. Angular houses are a lot like the cardinal zodiac signs. They give us the courage to initiate—in this case through forming our identities and figuring out how we’d like to be seen by other people.
The sign on the cusp, or starting edge of the 1st house—located at the 9 o’clock point on the zodiac wheel—has a special name: the ascendant or rising sign. Whatever zodiac sign was positioned at this point when you were born determines your ascendant, which is one of the “big three” of astrology: Your Sun, moon and rising signs.
Your rising sign reveals how you want to be seen in the world, or as astrologer Steven Forrest describes it, “the mask you wear.” Fittingly, the eyes are ruled by the first house, along with the rest of the head and the adrenals. What do people think when they first see you? Whatever identity you cultivate for yourself is directed by your 1st house. Your physical body is ruled by the first house, particularly your appearance. Discover more about your rising sign here!
What are the houses in astrology?
The zodiac wheel is a 360-degree circle, divided into 12 segments, or houses. Each house represents a different essential aspect of our lives. In the Movie of You, the houses are like the different sets or stages where the planets (actors) play out their roles (given by the zodiac signs).
You must know your time of birth to accurately determine the houses in your chart. If it wasn’t recorded on your birth certificate, you may have to work with an approximation, as in “My mom says it was sometime right around 4:30.” Or find an astrologer who does rectified charts. This intuitive, investigative reading can suss out what your closest birth time may be.
If you use the Placidus method (which we prefer and recommend), you may notice that the houses of your chart are different sizes. This takes into account the Earth’s tilt. The further from the equator you were born, the more unequal your houses will be in size.
How do you know which planets are in your first house?
Each house is like a movie set of your life where different types of action are taking place. When a planet is in that house, it’s like an actor on that set. To find out if you were born with planets in your 1st house, run a free birth chart here on our site. Then, look to see if there are any planet glyphs occupying that segment.
Here’s a handy guide to the planet glyphs for checking out your own chart:
Example birth chart: Kim Kardashian
Kim has Neptune, the planet of fantasy and glamor, in her 1st House of Self.
The meaning of the planets in the first house
Which planets do you have in the 1st house? Here’s what each planet means in that position.
No matter how many ups and downs life brings, being born with the Sun in the 1st House blesses you with strong survival instincts. The downside is that you can be overly focused on yourself. Friends may need to gently remind you to cooperate and share your toys.
Read more about the Sun in the 1st house
:With the emotional moon in the dynamic 1st house, you’re energetic and excitable. You’ll dive headfirst into new relationships, becoming fast friends and lovers, but because you “connect first, ask questions later,” these attractions may sizzle as fast as they fizzle.
Read more about the Moon in the 1st house
If you were born with Mercury in the 1st house, you tend to act on the fly and speak without thinking—but with all that charisma, you own the room! To channel your fiery mercurial ways, turn your projects and goals into challenges.
Read more about Mercury in the 1st house
If you were born with Venus in the 1st house, you are a fiery and passionate lover who won’t settle for less than an all-encompassing attraction. Love at first sight is all too real for you—and you’ve probably fallen head-over-heels in a nanosecond more than once.
Read more about Venus in the 1st house
If you were born with Mars in the 1st house, you’re a deeply driven go-getter and a fierce trailblazer. On a bad day, you may struggle to keep fiery emotions in check. But before you pick a fight, take a cool-down break to figure out whether or not it’s REALLY worth it.
Read more about Mars in the 1st house
When you believe in something, you’re the most zealous proselyte. But just as quickly, you may move on to your next obsession, at times earning a reputation as being fickle. Accept that you’re a dabbler who may always be drawn to the panoply of new, exciting developments.
Read more about Jupier in the 1st house
There’s an age-old saying that “fools rush in,” and it’s a lesson you’re here to learn. Saturn is cautious, deliberate and slow. But the 1st house is impulsive and “go, go, go!” You may constantly feel like you have one foot on the gas and the other on the brakes.
Read more about Saturn in the 1st house
Originality is your calling card and it shows, from the clothes you wear to your unconventional leadership style. You’re an eternal teenager, searching for the next hit of excitement. You’re likely to burn some bridges before the lesson about being too reactive sinks in.
Read more about Uranus in the 1st house
You can adapt your personality to fit any situation. This can be a blessing and a curse. You can “become” what people want, even intuiting their needs before they realize what they want for themselves! But too much adapting can leave you feeling lost or stuck.
Read more about Neptune in the 1st house
Intuitively, you know what to hide and what to reveal, leaving people wondering and wanting more. But it can also create a push-pull dynamic that drives people over the edge. You may need to work through intimacy issues and letting people get past the shield that you create with your image.
Read more about Pluto in the 1st house
What do the planets mean in the houses?
First and foremost, there is no “right answer” to this question. In fact, you could speculate on at least ten ways a planet is influencing a house at any given moment. This impact will also evolve over time.
To get you started on reflecting, below are some key words for each planet.
- Sun: Self-expression, ego, creativity, vitality, leadership, passion, what excites you
- Moon: Needs, desires, intuition, what comforts you
- Ascendant/Rising: The first impression you make, initial instincts, appearance, attractions
- Mercury: Communication, curiosity, thought processes, what you like to talk and learn about
- Venus: Romance, seduction, fashion sense, what brings you pleasure, what you’ll spend money on
- Mars: Instincts, turn-ons, lust, drive, motivation, pursuits, what you’ll fight for (and about)
- Jupiter: Luck, inspiration, adventure, risk-taking, travel style, expansion, what you like learning about
- Saturn: Time and karma, caution, challenges and struggles, boundaries, what you learn the hard way
- Uranus: Innovation, originality, idealism, where you’re a rebel and a revolutionary
- Neptune: Dreams, the subconscious, fantasy, glamor, addiction, healing, boundless imagination
- Pluto: Secrets, wealth transformation, evolution, the unconscious, power (struggles)
- North Node: Destiny, soul evolution, dharma, the new “language” you are learning to speak
How does each planet influence my 1st house?
If you were born with any planet in your 1st house, it will influence the following areas of life:
- Self (relationship to)
- Personal image
- First impressions
- Solo projects
- New initiatives
- The “mask” you wear
When a planet is transiting (orbiting) through your 1st house, these subjects will likely arise. Read more about transiting planets here!
These areas of life are thoroughly described in the 1st place planet links above.
Another example using Kim Kardashian’s birth chart
Kim has Neptune, the planet of fantasy and glamor in her 1st House, which may explain her enigmatic appeal. Her appearance (1st house) has made her the object of Neptunian fantasies—from her legendary derriere to her runway-chic wardrobe. But, um, why exactly is she famous? In many ways, this remains shrouded in a Neptunian veil. But there’s no denying that her image has appeal!
Planets in the zodiac signs
There’s one more layer to understanding this!
The zodiac sign that the planet is in directs the role that it plays in your life. For example, if motivational Mars was Lady Gaga (the “actor”), Mars in dreamy, artistic Pisces, would cast her— far from the shallow—as Ally in A Star Is Born. Mars in calculating, status-hungry Capricorn could turn her into Patrizia Reggiani in House of Gucci.
Or in the case of Kim Kardashian, Neptune is in Sagittarius, the sign of cross-cultural connections and global expansion. From her gorgeous biracial family, fathered by Kanye West, to her international appeal and constant worldwide travel, boundless Neptune in Sagittarius has certainly revealed itself as an “influencer” of her identity. Sagittarius rules the hips and thighs—body parts known to break the Internet when Kardashian posts photos of hers!
Keywords for the zodiac signs that appear in your chart
Here are some keywords to help you start piecing this all together with your own chart:
- Aries: independence, assertiveness, gutsiness, self-direction, novelty, trailblazing
- Taurus: stability, tenacity, values and ethics, routines, material comfort, sensuality, luxury, tradition
- Gemini: communication, curiosity, dynamic duos, variety, mobility, ingenuity
- Cancer: nurturing, sensitivity, emotions, home, family, roots, children, security
- Leo: passion, romance, self-expression, courage, loyalty, charisma, childlike spirit
- Virgo: wellness, efficiency, service, systems, organization, common sense, innocence, cleanliness
- Libra: commitment, partnership, equality, balance, mutuality, fairness, give and take
- Scorpio: intimacy, sex, secrecy, power, control, intensity, depth, obsessiveness, wealth, joint ventures
- Sagittarius: adventure, travel, expansion, wisdom, entrepreneurship, cross-cultural relationships
- Capricorn: ambition, structure, goals, long-term plans, achievements, prestige, status, time
- Aquarius: teamwork, originality, social justice, the future, technology, community, society, ideals
- Pisces: healing, dreams, fantasy, intuition, artistic ability, mystery, psychic abilities, compassion
What if my 1st house is empty, has no planets in it?
Empty houses still play a role—and we think of them like blank canvases where you might even have a little more freedom to say what goes. In some ways, this might even be a relief!
But no house will ever stay empty for long. The moon transits (orbits) through all 12 houses in the span of a month. The Sun visits each throughout one year. When a planet transits through a house, it lights it up with its energy. That area of your life will feel the influence!
For example, if abundant Jupiter is in your 2nd house of finances, you could be a high earner and a big spender. Transformational Pluto there could bring a job change or reveal a hidden or spiritual approach to making bank.